Cassavetes Contender: ‘Personal Velocity’

Rebecca Miller wasn’t thinking about directing a film when she started work on her book of short stories about women on the verge of change. But when InDigEnt’s Gary Winick approached her about doing a low-budget digital film, the material seemed right, and Miller was in production on “Personal Velocity” before she’d even found a publisher.

It was indie filmmaking all the way. Pic, a 16 day shoot in upstate New York and Manhattan, was budgeted at “close to $200,000,” says Miller, with a cast headed by indie stalwarts Parker Posey, Kyra Sedgwick and Fairuza Balk.

“I wanted actors who could deal with the reality of shooting like that, as well as being gifted actresses,” says Miller. “They were very real and accepted as real by the audience. The most important thing to me is that a bit of truth is being told.”

The IFC-InDigEnt collaboration bowed at Sundance where it won the Grand Jury Prize as well as the cinematography kudo. United Artists snapped up domestic distribution rights at the fest.

Pic rolled out in late November to critical plaudits, and nabbed three Spirit noms for female lead (Posey), cinematography (Ellen Kuras) as well as the Cassavetes kudo for films budgeted under $500,000.

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